Real Wedding: April-Rose & Rhys – Photography by Bonnie Jenkins

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

I’m currently a stay at home mum to our 18 month old daughter and Rhys is an electrician for Qld Rail. We have been together for 5 and a half years.

Rhys on the proposal: I wanted to do it at one of our favourite places, the beach.

It was a bit stressful actually, I wanted to take April right up Bribe Island beach on a weekday so there would be no one else around and because we were driving up the beach we had to travel at low tide so I had to try and rush April out the door early in the morning. I think she as a bit confused as to why I was so adamant that we HAD to make the low tide and couldn’t go any other day.

I had prepped myself up for the day for weeks so I was damn sure we were going to make it up the beach no matter what. It ended up being so perfect, weather was beautiful and there wasn’t another soul around when I popped the question.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

April: The property we got married on is my parents farm, where I grew up. I had always wanted to get married there as it’s absolutely beautiful and holds so many amazing memories. We actually transformed my dad’s old tractor shed into the reception venue. My brother and father are both builders so it was very handy having them.

The most important thing for both Rhys and I when we were planning the wedding was that we wanted everyone to feel relaxed and to have an amazing time. It’s easy to do when you have such a serene venue, great family and friends, delicious food and alcohol flowing from a cute little car.

I am so very lucky that I have an amazingly talented family who helped tremendously during the lead up to our wedding. My sister designed our wedding invites, my mum made my dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses, her own dress and my daughter’s dress (flower girls dress). Rhys built the wedding arbor and I found the fabric for it from a second hand store. My father and brother transformed our reception venue from an old tractor shed into a rustic barn like venue. They also built the dance floor.

My mum is also a collector of all things rustic and vintage so she provided the chandeliers, outdoor settings, vintage lounge suite for the photo booth and the donkey cart for the drinks. My sister in-law is an amazing graphic designer so she created all our signage and I collected a huge amount of artificial flowers and mixed them with real foliage we found around the property as decoration at the ceremony. My mum and I also made the bunting and I made all the wedding favours.

Tell us about your main outfits:

My amazing dress was made by my very talented mother, she has been a dress maker for the last 30 years so it was always the plan for her to make it. I had so many designs that I loved in my head and kind of mashed them all up into one dress. I just loved everything about it, the colour, the lace fabric, the split, the back and the amazing sleeves.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Definitely one of our favourite moments was getting our couple photos done with Bonnie, after the craziness of the morning it was so nice to just spend some time just the two of us surrounded by amazing scenery. Bonnie made us feel so relaxed and captured exactly how we felt at the time, we are so lucky to have the beautiful photos to look back on for the rest of our lives.

I have so many favourite details from the day but another would be getting ready with my bridesmaids and mum with the hair and makeup team (Miss Nessi Hair and Makeup). The girls from Miss Nessi were absolutely amazing, they listened to everything we suggested and made us feel so relaxed and calm with their professional yet laid back approach.

The week leading up to the wedding was crazy to say the least. We had family and friends flying in from all over the world to help us with the setup, but one moment in particular stands out.

We had been making bunting for weeks to hang around the ceremony and reception as decoration. On the day of the wedding we realized that we were about five meters of bunting short so in a crazy panic, my brother, my male cousin and my brother in-law were cutting out triangles of any fabric they could find and attaching it to string. In their mad panic to find fabric they picked up a chux cloth and cut it up and attached it, so in our wedding decorations there is a piece of chux cloth flapping in the breeze.

It’s funny when we look back on it now but at the time it was a bit crazy! My parents have three dogs and my parents’ neighbors have two dogs (the neighbors were at the wedding also). All the dogs were locked away but during the reception while everyone was sat down eating, five dogs rocked up and started having the best time, running around, stealing scraps of food and getting pats. I don’t know how they got out but it was definitely a memorable event.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

My advice would be to not stress over the small things and to not worry about what your guests are going to think, you obviously want them to have a good time but when planning the wedding don’t plan it around them and what you think they would like to see, plan it around what you love.

Photographer: Bonnie Jenkins | Ceremony and reception location: Private property | Celebrant: Darienne Davis | Flora: Organica Floret | Catering: Good Food Fellas, Young Vintage | Cake: Sweetheart Cake Designs | Hair and makeup: Miss Nessi Hair and Makeup | Wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and flower girl dressses: Mother of the bride, Dicky Bird Designs | Shoes: Infinite Fashion, Doc Martens | Groom’s attire and shoes: Tarocash | Suspenders: Hey Sir | Bow ties: OTAA | Engagement ring: Salera | Rings: Carpe Diem Jewellery | Bridesmaids’ shoes: koko-shoetique